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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

James F. Brinkley Iii
MEBI 534
Seattle Campus

Biology and Informaticists

A computing and information oriented treatment of the core concepts of human biology, addressing structure and function at three levels or organization: organism, cell, and gene. Each level includes examples of key anatomic and physiologic concepts, presented from a computational perspective and with the use of electronic resources. Offered: W.

Class description

An introduction/review of some of the fundamental concepts or fields in biology, the information representation and management problems that arise from these fields, and current and potential informatics solutions to these problems. The primary intent is to provide an overview of fundamental biomedical concepts in order to prepare students for collaborative work with biologists in the representation, management and utilization of biomedical information.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

One biological topic per week, ranging from classical to modern biology, and organized around a structural hierarchy from macroscopic anatomy to molecules. In each week the first class is generally a lecture by an expert in the field, with associated reading. In the second class the related informatics issues and solutions are discussed, based on assigned research papers and study of working computational systems.

Recommended preparation

Intended primarily for students with technical backgrounds, in areas such as computer science, electrical engineering, information science and related fields. Students with a biology background may also find the course of benefit because of the emphasis on informatics. Best to have some background in computers, biology or both. Students without this background are usually allowed to enroll, but they tend not to do as well as others with those backgrounds (although most students do well enough).

Class assignments and grading

Textbook reading for the biological topics, journal articles and some book chapter reading for the associated informatatics, occasional class presentions on the informatics readings, project report on one biological topic and associated informatics. No programming involved.

Midterm on classical biology, course project, presentations, class participation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by James F. Brinkley Iii
Date: 09/09/2005